At the Earth's Core

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

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At the Earth's Core


By

Edgar Rice Burroughs



CONTENTS


PROLOG
I TOWARD THE ETERNAL FIRES
II A STRANGE WORLD
III A CHANGE OF MASTERS
IV DIAN THE BEAUTIFUL
V SLAVES
VI THE BEGINNING OF HORROR
VII FREEDOM
VIII THE MAHAR TEMPLE
IX THE FACE OF DEATH
X PHUTRA AGAIN
XI FOUR DEAD MAHARS
XII PURSUIT
XIII THE SLY ONE
XIV THE GARDEN OF EDEN
XV BACK TO EARTH




PROLOG


IN THE FIRST PLACE PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT I do not expect you to
believe this story. Nor could you wonder had you witnessed a recent
experience of mine when, in the armor of blissful and stupendous
ignorance, I gaily narrated the gist of it to a Fellow of the Royal
Geological Society on the occasion of my last trip to London.

You would surely have thought that I had been detected in no less a
heinous crime than the purloining of the Crown Jewels from the Tower,
or putting poison in the coffee of His Majesty the King.

The erudite gentleman in whom I confided congealed before I was half
through!--it is all that saved him from exploding--and my dreams of an
Honorary Fellowship, gold medals, and a niche in the Hall of Fame faded
into the thin, cold air of his arctic atmosphere.

But I believe the story, and so would you, and so would the learned
Fellow of the Royal Geological Society, had you and he heard it from
the lips of the man who told it to me. Had you seen, as I did, the
fire of truth in those gray eyes; had you felt the ring of sincerity in
that quiet voice; had you realized the pathos of it all--you, too,
would believe. You would not have needed the final ocular proof that I
had--the weird rhamphorhynchus-like creature which he had brought back
with him from the inner world.

I came upon him quite suddenly, and no less unexpectedly, upon the rim
of the great Sahara Desert. He was standing before a goat-skin tent
amidst a clump of date palms within a tiny oasis. Close by was an Arab
douar of some eight or ten tents.

I had come down from the north to hunt lion. My party consisted of a
dozen children

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